- - Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SENATE

McCaskill sells plane to blunt criticism

Sen. Claire McCaskill, has sold a private plane she co-owns with her husband, months after her use of it for official business and failure to pay back taxes created a political headache.

In April, the Missouri Democrat said she would sell the aircraft after a series of damaging revelations. First, she repaid the government $88,000 after she was criticized for reimbursing herself for use of the plane for official and political travel. Then she paid an initial $287,000, rising to $320,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest to St. Louis County.

Claire said she would sell the plane and she did,” said Trevor Kincaid, a McCaskill spokesman. “True to her word as always.”

Mr. Kincaid said the plane sold for approximately $1.9 million to Northeast Montana Stat Air Ambulance Cooperative, which was a loss.

Mrs. McCaskill, seeking re-election in 2012, faces a tough race in a state she narrowly won in 2006. Republicans have pounded Mrs. McCaskill about the plane, dubbing it “Air Claire” and seeking to damage her reputation as a champion of good government.

Three Republicans are vying to take her on: Rep. W. Todd Akin, St. Louis-area businessman John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

With no staff, Bachmann mails her filing for primary

CONCORD — In keeping with the scant attention she has paid to New Hampshire, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has signed up by mail to get on the state’s presidential primary ballot instead of showing up in person or having someone else do it for her.

Though Mrs. Bachmann could have traveled to New Hampshire herself, sending a staffer wasn’t an option after all five of her paid New Hampshire staffers quit last week, complaining that they were kept out of the loop and treated rudely by her national campaign team.

Most of the major candidates have filed in person, although Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Georgia businessman Herman Cain sent campaign workers instead. Mrs. Bachmann, who has visited New Hampshire twice since launching her campaign, has been focused almost exclusively on Iowa.

IOWA

Perry promises millions of jobs in first TV ad

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